Several South Florida casinos are throwing big celebrations on New Year's Eve. My favorite is a concert by classic-rock band Kansas, performing 10:30 p.m. at Mardi Gras Casino (831 N. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-924-3200, MardiGrasCasinoFL.com). They'll play on the apron, which is the concrete area between the grandstand and the dog track. So they'll be close to fans.
At midnight, the rock legends will play their most popular song, "Carry on Wayward Son," and after that, fireworks will start. That'll last for about 15 minutes. Tickets cost from $20 to $60.
And you can't go wrong with a $25 all-you-can-eat prime rib buffet at Calder Casino (21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens, 305-625-1311, CalderCasino.com) from 4 to 9 p.m. I'm seriously thinking of gorging there and then heading to Mardi Gras to watch Kansas.
There is, of course, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (5550 NW 40th St., 954-977-6700, CasinoCoco.com), whose Fresh Harvest will serve a special brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Cost for each is $38 ($17 for kids). So now I'm thinking of starting the festivities earlier in the day — to fill my stomach for daylong libations.
And at the end, I might crash at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, 800-937-0010, SeminoleHardRockHollywood.com). The hotel has a "Rock Star NYE" package that costs $20,017, which is exactly how much I plan on winning at casinos throughout the day.
Win tickets to 'Kurios'
Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954-454-7000, GulfstreamPark.com) is giving 10 people two tickets to "Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities." The world-famous Cirque du Soleil has set up the touring production in its big top next to Hard Rock Stadium, with the human circus performing until Jan. 29.
Until Jan. 1, anyone who is at least 18 can enter the giveaway by visiting GulfstreamPark.com/Kurios and typing in their name, e-mail address, date of birth, ZIP code and phone number. The winners will be randomly selected and notified on Jan. 2.
Good luck! Since it's Cirque du Soleil, you know it'll be a fascinating performance. Entertainment writer Rod Stafford Hagwood recently interviewed the show's creator, who says, "It's the story of a man who builds a machine to travel to a different dimension. The machine malfunctions and brings people from another dimension to his world."